Chinese animal rights activists have rescued more than 1,000 dogs destined for the controversial Yulin dog meat festival this week.
The rescue was carried out by Humane Society International (HSI) on Tuesday after they found the dogs packed into cages in a truck heading to a slaughterhouse.
HSI activists say the truck had been coming from the southern Gansu province, an area associated with dog theft, and was intercepted in Guangzhou after travelling 1,948km.
Dogs and cats were found to be starving and wailing in distress while at least 30 of them appeared to have died as a result of suffocation.
According to those at the scene, the lorry driver provided fake papers, which he claimed were legal, but a quick inspection of his cargo suggested otherwise.
Dogs and cats were found to be starving and wailing in distress
He was also not able to provide proof of purchase of the animals either, which are believed to have been captured off the street or even stolen.
The animal rights activists have since involved Chinese authorities who are now investigating the legality of the shipment, which includes inspecting the source of the animals as well as the conditions in which they were being transported.
Meanwhile, the animals have been freed from their cages and sent to rescue shelters across the province.
The Asia branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – known commonly as PETA – has also been reposting videos and requests for medical supplies by volunteers.